< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: Another Problem: Spy Scandal

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Another Problem: Spy Scandal

One of the posts that I love at this site is one which none of the contributors wrote. It was a quote from Thucydides, the famous Pericles Funeral Oration.
But all this ease in our private relations does not make us lawless as citizens. Against this fear is our chief safeguard, teaching us to obey the magistrates and the laws, particularly such as regard the protection of the injured, whether they are actually on the statute book, or belong to that code which, although unwritten, yet cannot be broken without acknowledged disgrace.
What is lacking here is any public censure. Immediately the two great warring factions of American politics jumped headfirst into the specifics of whether or not a crime had been committed. The goal in the debate appeared to be to convict or exonerate the President and his staff of a crime for which no evidence had been offered, no charges had formally arisen, no indictment was issued. The great American sport of moral outrage had given way to something else: armchair quaterbacking of the legal case.

In other words, in our public debate the President stands accused of taking the law unto himself, like a King he claims the power to say what the law is. And where does our attention then turn? To whether or not he's guilty of this. Not one person seems to be bewildered that the land of the free is even at this point. That is probably because the chief protagonist in this issue, Congress, is as culpable in the event as the President, if not moreso. But I pray that the wise folks on Main Street are reading these tales with some sense of horror. I hope to God most Americans are asking themselves, how did we arrive at this stage in the first place?